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Babar steadies Pakistan with unbeaten fifty

Babar Azam scores a swift fifty Photo: Getty Images

DHAKA – Captain Babar Azam struck a fifty to help Pakistan make steady progress in the second Test against Bangladesh at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors chose to bat and reached 161-2 at tea on the first day, with skipper Azam batting on 60 alongside Azhar Ali, 36 not out, at the break.

The duo put 91 runs in their unbroken third wicket stand after Bangladesh left-arm spinner Taijul Islam removed both the openers in the morning session.

Azam led the batting charge in his 99-ball innings, which included seven fours and a six by tea, and brought up his 19th Test fifty after rain briefly halted the game.

Taijul earlier ended a 59-run opening partnership when he bowled Abdullah Shafique for 25 runs through the gate, before Abid Ali chopped one onto his stumps after knocking up 39 runs including six boundaries.

Taijul could also have dismissed Azhar if the third umpire had not given him the benefit of the doubt.

Bangladesh reviewed the not out call from the on-field umpire and with the ultra-edge showing an inconclusive touch of the ball to bat, the decision could not be overturned.

Pakistan lead the two-Test series 1-0 after winning the first Test by eight wickets.

The visitors fielded an unchanged squad from the first Test while Bangladesh handed Mahmudul Hasan a Test debut and brought in Shakib Al Hasan and Khaled Ahmed in three changes to the team.

Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali and Abu Jayed were dropped from the opening Test.

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